Prosperity and Virtue

  I wish that I had simply asked the question on Sunday that, it seems to me, must be answered at the beginning of the Poor People’s Campaign’s National Call to Moral Revival: Why is it hard to talk about money? As our friend Wanda pointed out to me, a productive dialog on poverty must include both those who have …

The Bible Says…

I suspect that all Christians would affirm that the broad theme of the Bible is “the Gospel.” I also suspect that, once we drill down into the details, things will fragment substantially. Even so, I suspect that most Christians will affirm, as I would have thirty years ago, that the Gospel is about sin and salvation, heaven and hell, who’s …

The Truth About Ruth

This Eastertide series is ostensibly about resurrection displayed in Scripture other than the Easter story, but it’s turning out to be just as much about ruining our favorite childhood stories from the Bible. This week, we took on Ruth. If you’re like me, you grew up thinking this was one of the great romances of the Bible. Ruth and Boaz …

Myth and Reality

Many of us probably haven’t read the story of Noah’s ark since we were kids. If you read it again, you might find some surprises. I always had this idea that Noah was exhorting the people around him to get on the boat, but they just mocked him as a fool building a boat in the desert. That’s not what …

The Alpha and the Omega

Our plan for Eastertide this year is to take the Gospel of Mark seriously: the promise of resurrection, but not the experience of it. What other evidence do we find in Scripture and in our lives that resurrection is real? I asked this question of my Bible-nerd friends on Facebook and suggested that the real answer was “the whole Bible.” …

When We Rise Up

It’s unclear whether the Gospel of Mark should be read with a mullet or a beret. It was ignored for the first six centuries of Christian history because it is clumsily written and has an odd narrative structure. But now we have post-modernism and what was considered clumsy is now considered a point of view; what was odd is now …

Seeing the Promised Land

Throughout Lent, we’ve been talking about two journeys: the journey of the Israelites to the Promised Land; and the journey of Jesus to Jerusalem and the cross. This week, both those journeys reached their penultimate moments. In the former, the Israelites camp on the eastern side of border of the Promised Land, the Jordan River across from Jericho. Moses goes …